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The Action Thread Part Two

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"I feel very upset (...) about what has happened to me but I do forgive those who have bullied me. I believe they didn't know any better and in time I think they will realise that what they did was not right." 
Read Leroy's blog about how he responded to bullying: http://bit.ly/2srte29
Today is #StandUpToBullying Day. Find out more: standuptobullying.co.uk

La imagen puede contener: 1 persona, sonriendo, primer plano

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HEALTH

7,500 vaccines have arrived in the Congo to stop the Ebola outbreak in its tracks

May 23 2018 | By: SADOF ALEXANDER

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People in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are fighting a deadly and growing Ebola epidemic, with 26 deaths and another 46 cases suspected or confirmed. It’s easy to fear the worst in this situation, especially after the world witnessed the massive West Africa Ebola crisis in 2014 that ultimately took over 11,000 lives. But something is different this time that can give us hope: more than 7,500 doses of an Ebola vaccine have been delivered to DRC this week.

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Health workers will be among the first to receive the Ebola vaccine.

An Ebola vaccine had been under development for years, but it was not yet available during the 2014 epidemic in West Africa. Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance committed $300 million to speed up development of the vaccine to ensure it would be available should another crisis arise. At the beginning of 2016, an Ebola vaccine produced by Merck was found to have 100% efficacy in human trial and today, Gavi and Merck are working together to ensure that 300,000 investigational doses of the vaccine are available when an outbreak occurs.

In other words, people in DRC have access to the life-saving benefits of this vaccine (even while it is still undergoing licensing!) thanks to this breakthrough partnership.

Gavi is also working with the World Health Organization to ensure the vaccine can be delivered. For example, they are providing $1 million in operation costs to transport health workers to the communities most in need and to purchase cold chain equipment, which keeps the vaccines at the extremely low temperatures needed to be effective.

“The whole world is watching us and vaccination comes at the right time to block the progression of the disease,” said DRC Minister of Health, Dr. Oly Ilunga Kalenga. “I thank our partners WHO, UNICEF, MSF and Gavi who have supported us since day one. Having vaccines available so quickly was only possible thanks to their mobilisation.”

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter
 

First #ebola vaccination done In Mbandaka, DRC Guillaume Ngoie Mwamba , EPI manager leads the way #VaccinesWork

 
 

 

Ebola spreads through direct contact with bodily fluids. With this in mind, health workers are using a “ring vaccination” method that ensures anyone who comes in direct contact with an infected individual will receive the vaccine. This method, which was the same one used to eradicate smallpox, creates a shield of immunity and prevents more people from becoming infected. Ring vaccinations keep health workers and their patients safe, as well.

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Experts from Guinea have arrived in Mbandaka, DRC – they bring invaluable expertise in conducting ring vaccination for Ebola. Photo Credit: @PeteSalama/Twitter

“Health workers will be the first to receive the vaccine today, as they are the ones most likely to be exposed to the Ebola virus,” said Dr. Berkley in the press release. “We all owe a debt of gratitude to the health workers risking their lives to prevent this disease from spreading further.”

This is an exciting and promising example of global health in action. With continued partnership and innovation, we have the chance to stop this Ebola epidemic in its tracks, and with hope, put an end to the long history of Ebola in the country and the region.

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It's the Day of the African Child and we want you to tell us why #GirlsCount! 1f4ab.png? Fill in the blank 1f4ab.png? & tag a friend below for your chance to WIN a #GirlsCount tote bag by Fossil! → bit.ly/2sZ6PqL

We’re SO excited to be partnered with the Fossil Group, who created this special edition #GirlsCount tote, in support of our girls’ education campaign!

Contest ends at 11:59 pm EST on Monday June 18.

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ENVIRONMENT

The People of Pakistan Have Planted 1 Billion Trees in 2 Years

48 football fields worth of forest are cut down each minute.

screen_shot_2017-08-15_at_105914_am.png__1264x568_q85_crop_subsampling-2.png
 Billion Tree Tsunami campaign

After decades of illegal logging, violent floods, and commercial development depleted Pakistan’s forests, the country just received a much-needed lifeline.

Over the past two years, Pakistanis have planted 1 billion trees in the Khyber Pakhtunkhaw province, restoring 350,000 hectares of forests and degraded land, according to the Independent.

The “Billion Tree Tsunami” campaign was spearheaded by Imran Khan, the leader of the political party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, and it was a part of an international coalition to stem the rate of deforestation around the world.

Several of the Global Goals, which Global Citizen advocates for, promote reforestation. For instance, Global Goal 15 calls for the sustainable management of forests to “reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss” and Global Goal 13 calls for urgent action to protect the climate. You can take action on these causes here.

 

 

 

The Bonn Challenge, established by The International Union for Conservation of Nature, aims to restore 150 million hectares of forest by 2020.

So far, 20 countries have signed up for the challenge and through the Billion Tree Tsunami, Pakistan has surpassed their target several months ahead of schedule

The tree planters in Pakistan were motivated by the threat of climate change, which forests help to defend against by cooling areas and absorbing carbon emissions. Conversely, chopping down trees releases carbon — an estimated 15% of global emissions come from deforestation.

There were also local events that influenced the decentralized campaign.

As the forests along the Gambila River thinned out each year, flooding became worse and caused greater damage to communities.

“If you plant trees, we have discovered, by the river banks it sustains the rivers,” Khan told the Independent. “But most importantly, the glaciers that are melting in the mountains, and one of the biggest reasons is because there has been a massive deforestation. So, this billion tree is very significant for our future.”  

Read More: India Wants to Spend Over $6 Billion on New Forests

There are other benefits beyond staving off floods.

“If the trend continues, there will be more birds, there will be more microbes, there will be more insects, so there will be more animals, so more habitats,” Hamaad Khan Naqi, WWF-Pakistan’s director general, told Voice of America. “The ecosystem will kind of literally revive in certain places. There will be more rains because we do need rains.”

Trees also help to clean the air and water sources, reducing local pollution.

Read More: Brazil’s Rainforests Are Being Decimated — and One Country Wants to Do Something About It

In addition to reforestation efforts, Pakistan has cracked down on illegal logging operations, shutting down hundreds of mills in the region, the Independent reports.  

Globally, 48 football fields worth of forest are cut down each minute, destroying ecosystems, animal populations, and human livelihoods. An estimated 1.6 billion people directly rely on forests for food, water, medicine, income, and more.

Pakistan’s massive tree planting campaign and other efforts around the world are helping to reverse the disappearance of forests.

And as they’re learning, restoring forests makes life better for everyone.

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GIRLS & WOMEN

A New School in India Is Training Trafficking Victims to Become Lawyers & Advocates

“Despite the stigma attached to sex trafficking survivors they decided to stand up."

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 School For Justice

Every year, 20,000 Indian women and children are sold into modern slavery

That’s over 50 women and children every day whose lives are commodified — their existences bought and sold. 

What if each of those women could become — instead of a victim of trafficking — an advocate against it?

Take Action: End Violence Against Women and Girls

That’s exactly what the School for Justice, a pre-professional school that helps former trafficking victims to get into law school, had in mind when it opened this April. 

school-for-justice-1.jpgImage: School For Justice

Worldwide, more than 21 million people are the victims of human trafficking, according to UNICEF, the vast majority of them women and girls. The School of Justice is a pioneering program that aims to help such women get back on their feet and ultimately into the workforce as lawyers.  

The program launched in India this year with 19 students, and the organization that runs the initiative, the Free A Girl movement, plans to open more schools in Brazil and elsewhere around the world, according to Free A Girl founder Evelien Hölsken, who responded to Global Citizen’s questions in an email. The Free a Girl movement aims to raise awareness about child sex trafficking, as well as rescue and rehabilitate former victims. 

For women and girls who experience trafficking, it’s an experience that often stays with them for the rest of their lives, a scar that can hold them back from education and employment opportunities. The stigma is deep and the trend is increasing, according to Reuters.

According to the School for Justice website, there are an estimated 1.2 million underaged girls working in brothels in India alone, the highest number in the world, but in 2015 there were only 55 convictions for sex trafficking. 

It was this culture of impunity that led Hölsken to found the School for Justice. 

“In India, people involved in child prostitution, including traffickers, brothel owners, pimps and customers are rarely punished,” Hölsken wrote in an email. “To put an end to this injustice and to take the offenders off the streets, we launched the School for Justice.”

school-for-justice-2.jpgImage: School For Justice

Read More: For the First Time in India, a Sex Trafficking Victim Is Receiving Compensation

The school opened in April with 19 members — all of them women, according to Holsken. The organization works with local NGO partners in India, including Sanlaap, Freedom Firm, Transforming Lives Foundation, Equal Community Foundation, and Odanadi, to rescue girls from brothels. These organizations work primarily in large cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bangalore. 

Once girls are removed from brothels, they are housed at a shared dorm, the location of which is undisclosed safety reasons, according to HuffPost. 

The initiative, according to Free A Girl’s website, is completely crowdfunded, and HuffPost has reported that non-profit donors in the Netherlands, such as the AFAS Foundation, have already committed enough funding for the next two years. 

It costs an estimated $3,400 per student per year, according to HuffPost.  This cost covers room and board, as well as extra tutoring, exam costs, and course materials. The program prepares students to enter “one of the best law universities in India” and later “will lobby the government to give them a chance to become public prosecutors,” according to the School for Justice’s site. 

Read More: There’s a Global Rape Epidemic and There Are Few Laws to Prevent It

Although School For Justice is still a pilot initiative, tackling a problem with roots as deep as sex trafficking in Southeast Asia will need a radical shift in India’s criminal justice system as well, according to Siddharth Kara, the director of Harvard’s Program on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery. 

“As a first step this is a very commendable and promising idea,” Kara told Global Citizen of the School for Justice. “There are very few people who want to stand up for the rights of former slaves in South Asia.” 

But, he added, “the laws aren’t there to pursue justice in an equitable way for survivors.” 

India’s sexual assault laws were last updated in 2013, after a fatal gang rape on a bus in Delhi in December of 2012. The new law criminalized stalking, voyeurism, and sexual harassment, and instituted the death penalty for fatal rapes. 

Read More: Indian Buses Will Soon Have a Panic Button to Prevent Sexual Violence

Some argued the bill didn’t go far enough. 

“The implementation remains the larger challenge,” Ranjana Kumari, a women's activist and director of the Centre for Social Research, told the Guardian

Other offenses, such as marital rape, remain outside of the bounds of the law. 

school-for-justice-3.jpgImage: School For Justice

Changing these laws and ensuring the existing legislation is actually implemented is the momentous task the students at India’s School for Justice will face upon graduation.  

“Despite the stigma attached to sex trafficking survivors they decided to stand up and share their story in the hope that it will change the system,” Hölsken wrote. “These 19 girls might not change the system themselves, but their story has reached many people all over the world and hopefully it will inspire others to support them.” 

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JAN. 11, 2018

 

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HEALTH

Bill and Melinda Gates Are Paying Off Nigeria’s $76 Million Debt to Japan

Nigeria owes Japan $76 million for a polio eradication loan.

As some leaders are increasing their focus on issues solely within their own borders, Bill and Melinda Gates continue to show the importance of looking outward — and they’ve demonstrated this yet again by announcing they will settle Nigeria’s $76 million debt to Japan.

Nigeria’s debt to Japan is the result of Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) provided by the Japanese government in 2014 for increased polio eradication efforts.

The country has made great strides in its efforts to eliminate the disease thanks to this funding.

Nigeria did not record a wild case of polio from July 2014 to August 2016, when two cases were reported.

Take Action: Call on Canadian Ministers to Commit to Global Health Security

No new cases of the wild poliovirus were reported in 2017 and there were only four cases reported in 2016, according to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

 

In 1988, there were 350,000 new polio cases. Last year, there were just 21. Here’s what made this progress possible: http://b-gat.es/2CPZ2i4 

 
 

All of this means that Nigeria is very close to eradicating polio, which would leave just two countries in the world where the disease is still endemic, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Global Citizen campaigns to eradicate polio and ensure all individuals have access to good healthcare. You can take action here.

As the largest private philanthropic organization in the world, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation spends just over $3 billion a year on development assistance, according to The Guardian.

Eradicating polio is one of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s top priorities. In fact, at the last annual Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, the Gates Foundation announced it would match two-to-one Rotary's commitment to raise $50 million a year over the next three years, which would result in $450 million towards polio eradication efforts.

Read More: WTF Is Polio? 17 Facts About the Disease That We’re This Close to Eradicating

 

7 years after they helped India see its last case of polio, health workers still provide children with much more than the polio vaccine. http://gates.ly/2DhwSh4  #endpolio

 
 

“Some people, especially these days, think the world is getting worse,” Gates said at the convention  last June. “The progress on polio is a reminder of what people can accomplish when they are bold, determined, and willing to work together.”

While the Gates family is notoriously generous and forward-thinking when it comes to supporting the accomplishment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Bill Gates has said that organizations like his foundation are not prepared to fill the gaps that could result from foreign aid cuts like those proposed by US President Donald Trump.

“Helping other countries fight poverty and disease makes the world more stable, and it makes Americans and people everywhere safer. Foreign aid delivers a fantastic return on investment,” Gates said at the convention.

Polio eradication efforts have not only helped eliminate the disease in most countries, but they have led to better health systems and improved responses to other global health crises like ebola and Zika.

Read More: These Tweets From Bill Gates Will Remind You That 2017 Wasn’t All Bad

Nigeria’s Minister of Finance Kemi Adeosun announced the debt repayment on Tuesday in Abuja when she met with Japanese House of Councillors Parliamentarians.

The repayment was set to begin four years after Japan’s loan in 2014, which is what has now sparked the repayment.

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Galway and Roscommon ETB is now inviting applications from suitably qualified persons for the position of Administrator for Music Generation Galway County. Closing date: 12 noon, Friday 22 June 2018. 

Application information and a full job description are available online at: http://galwayroscommon.etb.ie/job/riarthoir-le-haghaidh-administrator/?vacancy

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Edited by tan_lejos_tan_cerca

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Our Chernobyl Kilkenny Outreach Group will be welcoming the largest group of children and young adults as part of this summer’s Rest & Recuperation Programme to Ireland on 27 June.

We will be expecting plenty of familiar faces and some new as well. Many children have been travelling to stay with their Irish volunteer host families for both Summer and Christmas respite breaks for a number of years. This is a very special and much anticipated time of year for both children and host families alike.

The Kilkenny Outreach Group fundraise tirelessly throughout the year in order to give these children and adults a much needed break and have just complete their hugely successful annual Chernobyl Kilkenny Cycle.

The success of our oldest programme is due to the commitment, dedication and kindness of thousands of host families from Kilkenny and all over Ireland.

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"Surely children being born today are okay though, right?"
"Is Chernobyl still a problem?"
"Are there still issues, after all this time?"

These are questions that we, as an organisation, are faced with on a daily basis. After 32 years, there is a tendency (understandably) or impression that Chernobyl is something that happened a very long time ago and no longer poses a threat to the world but the reality is very, very different.

From what we see and know we conclude that Chernobyl is not something from the past; Chernobyl ‘was forever’, Chernobyl ‘is forever’ and the impact of that single shocking nuclear accident can never be undone.

Click the link below to learn more about the ongoing consequences of the 1986 Chernobyl accident.

https://www.chernobyl-international.com/about-chernobyl/

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CITIZENSHIP

UN: Now Is the Time to Discuss North Korea's Human Rights Problems

"In this regard, I am concerned."

By Christy Lee

WASHINGTON — Concerned by the lack of any reference to human rights in the joint statement issued at the historic summit between Washington and Pyongyang, the United Nations special rapporteur on North Korea says "this is the time" for the US to pressure North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to engage in a dialogue with the international community to improve the lives of North Korea’s people.

“Any reference to human rights … was absent,” said Tomás Ojea Quintana, special rapporteur on North Korea for the United Nations based in Argentina. “The only term in the joint statement that I could associate with human rights is the word ‘prosperity’ where the two leaders [agreed to] commit to peace and prosperity and security in the Korean Peninsula.”

The joint statement issued by Trump and Kim at the summit Tuesday on Singapore’s Sentosa Island, contained four stipulations: “Washington and Pyongyang agreed to normalize the relations between the two countries and pursue peace on the Korean Peninsula, affirmed North Korea’s commitment toward complete denuclearization, and decided to recover and repatriate the remains of the POWs and MIAs during the Korean War.”

But it lacked any mention of North Korea taking action to address its human rights situation.

 

Quintana said the momentum generated by the summit must bring North Korea’s human rights situations to the fore.

“This is the time. This is the time,” he said. “Now the North Korean leadership and the government want to normalize the country, want to become a respectable member of the United Nations. Well, they will have to change their stance in regard to human rights questions and start the process of dialogue and engagement.”

Trump Priority: Denuclearization

While Quintana said he understands President Donald Trump’s priority is denuclearizing North Korea, the UN official is concerned that unless the human rights situation in North Korea improves, it will become “an obstacle for any agreement to be implemented and effective.”

During a press conference after the summit talks, Trump downplayed reporters’ questions on human rights, saying only that he brought up the issue to Kim.

 

When VOA’s Greta Van Susteren asked Trump about human rights in an interview right after the summit, Trump replied “human rights were mentioned” during the discussion on denuclearization. Touting Kim as someone who “loves his people,” Trump said, “Look, he’s doing what he’s seen done,” when Susteren underlined the regime’s brutality against its people.

Marked Change of Tone

Trump’s comments after the summit showed a marked change from his State of the Union address in January when he said, “no regime has oppressed its own citizens more totally or brutally than the cruel dictatorship in North Korea.” He cited the shameful trial of American college student Otto Warmbier who was detained in North Korea and “horribly injured” before he died days after his return to the US And Trump described the saga of North Korean defector Ji Seong-ho who, during his search for food, lost a leg before escaping on crutches

 

“Today he lives in Seoul,” Trump said, “where he rescues other defectors, and broadcasts into North Korea what the regime fears the most — the truth.”

Hoped for Opportunity

Quintana, who “reports on the situation of human rights in North Korea and on the government’s compliance with its obligation under the international human rights law,” had hoped the summit would open up an opportunity to evaluate conditions in North Korea.

Instead, “I don’t see a strategy to effectively assess the problem of a serious human rights situation on the ground in North Korea,” said Quintana. “In this regard, I am concerned.”

Quintana said the US delegations to the UN in Geneva and in New York, his two formal channels of communication with US officials, had stressed to him that human rights remain a concern and “will be included with any engagement with North Korea.”

He said, “How did the dynamics unfold in the context of the summit and the leaders that might be something different.”

 

Quintana also continues to seek official communication with North Korean authorities to discuss human rights, but because North Korea denies allegations of human rights violations and opposes on-the-ground investigations, the UN special rapporteur has to assess the situation through civil organizations in South Korea or through people who defected the North.

“The government of North Korea stated the human rights issue has been used politically by different states,” Quintana said. “In their case, [a] double standard was applied. These are the kind of arguments that the North Korean government presents to oppose any negotiations or engagements or conversations with me, with my mandate.”

Report to UN

In his “Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Right in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea” made to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2018, Quintana describes some of the conditions of detainees in political prison camps.

A female detainee in one of the labor camps, known as kyohwaso, run by North Korea’s Ministry of State Security and the Ministry of People’s Security is quoted in the report on the difficulties of gaining access to basic necessities such as water: “The heads of cells, inmates selected by prison officials according to the extent to which they have a clean record … could wash, not the rest of us.”

Another woman who was detained after being repatriated to North Korea from China said, “You can’t imagine if you haven’t experienced it. We were treated like animals, given only corn to eat or a poorly made soup of dried radish greens.” She continued, “The toilet is located inside a room that hosted a dozen of people. You’re not allowed to move. … If you move, they beat you.”

North Korea’s regime could begin to address the economic and cultural rights of its people as an entry point of addressing human rights, if sanctions are relaxed and Pyongyang starts receiving economic support, Quintana said.

If “North Korean authorities open up … to the system of the United Nations,” Quintanna said it would be a “very good sign of credibility, reliability from North Korea” that would say that, ‘We are ready to open up our frontiers. We are ready to start conversations, to have human rights dialogue which has been absent for many, many years.’”

 

Human Rights Dialogue

Quintana expects the US, as well as South Korea, China, and Russia, to encourage and urge the leadership of North Korea to engage on a human rights dialogue, which he said will be “a very important step forward” that “will go in parallel to the negotiations on peace, security, and denuclearization.”

“There is a need of a … concrete political decision from North Korea at this juncture,” Quintana said. “From President Trump’s press conference … he said Mr. Kim Jong Un … is willing to do something … Kim Jong Un cares about the people and willing to show something in regard to the people. I hope that’s connected to human rights dialogue.”

This piece was originally published here.

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CITIZENSHIP

Texas Detention Center for Migrant Children Compared to 'Prison'

The mere act of detaining an innocent child is considered a human rights violation.

Shelves of food, racks of clothes, and rows of checkout counters once filled the massive Walmart near the US-Mexico border in Brownsville, Texas.

Now converted into a migrant detention center called Casa Padre, the space holds around 1,500 migrant boys between the ages of 10 and 17, according to The New York Times, in what some have described as prison-like conditions.

Two hours of outdoor time a day, lights out by 9 p.m., blacked-out windows, and back-to-back cots in each sleeping room are some of the features of this heavily supervised environment, which opened in March 2017.

There’s also a large mural of US President Donald Trump by the entrance.

KAN1ibSU_normal.jpg

Something I just told @chrislhayes: this place is a licensed child care facility with trained staff. There are 26 operated by the same nonprofit, @SouthwestKey.

Its president told me that potential new tent cities that will be on federal property *don’t* have to be licensed.

 

Starting to get some handout photos from our tour with @HHSGov.

Here’s the Trump mural I mentioned to @chrislhayes inside the shelter for incarcerated child migrants.

Also their beds and the towels they shower with. pic.twitter.com/EPEQ1VGAAF

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
 
 

 

Take Action: Refugee? Migrant? Human Being. Show Your Support for All People - No Matter Where They Were Born

Take Action: Tweet Now

 
 
 
2 points

 



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Casa Padre is one of the more than 100 facilities housing more than 11,000 migrant youth in 17 states across the US, according to the Washington Post.

This particular facility became embroiled in controversy earlier this month when Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley was denied entry, stoking fears that the converted Walmart was harboring dark secrets.

Casa Padre’s operator, the nonprofit Southwest Key Programs, invited reporters this week for a tour to dispel rumors. While it appears that gross abuses aren’t taking place, the mere act of detaining an innocent child is considered to be a human rights violation by the United Nations.

“The US should immediately halt this practice,” Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the UN human rights agency, OHCHR, said in a statement. “[There is] nothing normal about detaining children. It is never in the best interests of the child and always constitutes a child rights violation.”

Read More: Why Jeff Sessions' Ruling on Domestic Violence and Asylum Matters

Further, Casa Padre has been cited 13 times for deficiencies, ranging from failing to provide medical care to supervisors berating kids.  

In a viral tweet thread, MSNBC contributor Jacob Soboroff compared the conditions of the facility to a prison.

 

 
kOv3igvuhqQHQrg4?format=jpg&name=small
 

I’m a part of the first group of journalists to go into the shelter for detained child migrants in Brownsville Texas since the zero tolerance separation policy was announced. 1000+ boys here.

Going in right now.

More tonight w @chrislhayes on @allinwithchris @MSNBC. #inners

 
 

 

Earlier this year, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released a reportdocumenting sexual assaults, inadequate medical care, and violent attacks in detention centers for migrant children.

Southwest Key Programs insists that Casa Padre is being operated in a caring manner, the Times reports.

Read More: What's Happening to Migrant Kids in the US?

There are more than 1,000 trained staff at the facility, including cooks, teachers, and medical professionals, and employees insisted to reporters that the environment was amenable.

“We pride ourselves in providing excellent child care,” said Alexia Rodriguez, Southwest Key’s vice president of immigrant children’s services.

“We’re not a political organization,” Rodriguez added. “We take care of kids. We take great care of kids.”

The vast majority of the detained children came to the US as unaccompanied minors, but some of the kids were separated from their parents at the border as part of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy.

The average stay for a child in Casa Padre is 56 days, according to the Times. Migrants crossing the Mexican border into the US are often escaping gang violence, political instability, grinding poverty, and other hardships, and many apply for asylum.  

 

 

Thousands of people around the world signed petitions calling for an end to family separation and family detention. Today, @amnestyusa delivered your signatures in #DC! Families deserve safety and freedom! #FamiliesBelongTogether

 
 

 

The Trump administration’s new focus on arresting all migrants is straining the government’s detention system, according to Reuters. In April, 51,000 migrants were detained at the US-Mexico border, up from 16,000 during the same period last year.

Read More: UN Accuses US of Human Rights Violations for Separating Migrant Families

To accommodate this sharp rise, more than 1,600 immigrants were recently transferred to federal prisons, where they will be mixed in with general incarcerated populations, Reuters reports.

Now authorities are planning to build tent cities on Army and Air Force bases — an idea that’s being compared to the internment of US citizens of Japanese heritage in the 1940s.

Global Citizen campaigns to help migrants and refugees and you can take action on this issue here.

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CULTURE

What is afrofuturism, and how can it change the world?

22 May 2018 5:10PM UTC | By: SADOF ALEXANDER

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From flying cars to smart houses, shining utopias to interstellar worlds, there are many ways to imagine the future. Science fiction and fantasy genres have long been used to explore the different ways humanity could exist, whether it be an alteration of the present day, a couple of years from now, or centuries ahead. When we speculate about the future, it’s not just a matter of what we imagine, but who we imagine.

Afrofuturism combines science fiction and fantasy with African mythologies. The term was coined in 1993 in Mark Dery’s essay “Black to the Future,” but the style existed before then.

Ytasha L. Womack, author of Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture, elaborates that the genre “combines elements of science fiction, historical fiction, speculative fiction, fantasy, Afrocentricity, and magic realism with non-Western beliefs. In some cases, it’s a total re-envisioning of the past and speculation about the future rife with cultural critiques.”

The art that comes out of this genre not only conceptualizes the world through fiction and fantasy but challenges the world as it exists now. Being able to see yourself at the center of a story has great power, according to Womack: “Empowering people to see themselves and their ideas in the future gives rise to innovators and freethinkers, all of whom can pull from the best of the past while navigating the sea of possibilities to create communities, culture, and a new, balanced world.”

Fikayo Adeola, founder of the afrofuturist forum Kugali, argues that the style stands as a symbol of hope, in both the past and present.

“Afrofuturism was a tool that they could use to imagine a better future,” Adeola told CNN, “and the movement continued into the contemporary era.”

Afrofuturist stories, and the power they create, are coming to the forefront of popular culture. The high-tech, utopian world of Wakanda in Black Panther has introduced many people to the genre. Though the film is set in the present, it makes speculations that bring futuristic elements and social critique together.

“T’Challa represents … an African that hasn’t been affected by colonization,” Ryan Coogler, the film’s director, told The Washington Post. “So what we wanted to do was contrast that with a reflection of the diaspora … You get the African that’s not only a product of colonization, but also a product of the worst form of colonization, which is slavery. It was about that clash.”

The clash described by Coogler is not the only commentary made by the film. Black Panther makes audiences wonder: What if everyone in a nation had equal access to technology? What if women were equal members of society? What role does a powerful nation play in helping others? When storytellers venture to ask these questions, they also provide answers that can be applied to how we live now.

Afrofuturism is not just another way of telling stories. It challenges people to imagine a greater world than the one that currently exists. If the stories we tell are ones that allow everyone to exist in the world of tomorrow, perhaps we will be more inspired to make that world a reality.

 

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18/06/2018

Announcing Two New Appointments to the Board of Music Generation

Announcing Two New Appointments to the Board of Music Generation

Music Generation has announced the appointment of two new members to its Board: Arts Consultant and former CEO of Music Network, Deirdre McCrea, and Chantal O’Sullivan, philanthropist and owner of O’Sullivan Antiques (Dublin and New York).

Welcoming the new appointments to the Board of Music Generation, Chairperson Leo Blennerhasset said: ‘I’m delighted to welcome Deirdre and Chantal to the Board of Music Generation, each of whom brings a wealth of expertise and experience to the programme. Their considerable and diverse skillsets – particularly in the areas of business and philanthropy, arts and music development – will be of immense value to the Board as we embark on a new and exciting phase of development for this pioneering organisation.’

Deirdre McCrea responded to the announcement of her appointment to the Board: ‘Having worked closely on Music Network’s Feasibility Study ‘A National System of Local Music Education Services’, which was the blueprint document for Music Generation’s formation in 2010, I am gratified to now join the Board and to have the opportunity to help progress the development of the organisation. Eight years into its remarkable journey, I welcome the chance to work with the Board to further the reach of Music Generation so that thousands more children and young people can experience its positive and powerful benefits.’

Chantal O’Sullivan commented: ‘It is a great honour to join the Board of Music Generation, an organisation whose ground-breaking approach to public-philanthropic partnership has already yielded such unprecedented change for Irish music education. I look forward to collaborating with my fellow Board members to build on the programme’s success to date and to advance our collective goal to ‘make music education happen.’'

Music Generation is Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, initiated by Music Network and co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships. ‘Phase 1’ of Music Generation established the programme in 11 areas of Ireland (Louth, Mayo, Sligo, Cork City, Laois, Wicklow, Carlow, Limerick City, Offaly/Westmeath, Clare and South Dublin) and in September 2017 a further nine areas were selected for participation as part of ‘Phase 2’ (Galway County, Waterford, Wexford, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, Leitrim, Kilkenny, Cavan/Monaghan, Galway City and Roscommon). In addition, in December 2017 Government announced its commitment to support expansion of the programme nationwide by 2022. Currently the programme creates more than 48,500 opportunities each year for children and young people to engage in high-quality, subsidised performance music education across more than 150 different programmes in all musical genres and styles – from trad to jazz, rock, pop and hip-hop, samba drumming, brass band, choral and orchestral initiatives, composers clubs and much more.

Music Generation believes in every child and young person’s musical potential and their innate artistry, that it is every child and young person’s right to have the choice of access and the chance to participate as a musical citizen and that music doesn’t just change lives, it transforms lives. 

//ENDS

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Having Volunteered with CCI earlier this year, Aine Boland saw first-hand the incredible impact that Irish funds have had on the children of Chernobyl.

Aine has committed to running the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon in aid of CCI later this year. This mammoth task, spanning 42km is a massive commitment of time and energy. Help Áine to reach her fundraising target to support the children of Chernobyl.

Would you like to fundraise in aid of CCI? Get in touch!

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"We are often silent
We don't yell and don't complain.

We're afraid to talk about it
We don't know how.
The questions it raises are not ordinary.

We are from Chernobyl." 
- 'Voices from Chernobyl', Svetlana Alexievich. 
Winner of Nobel Prize in Literature 2015.

 

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CITIZENSHIP

British LGBTQ Rights Campaigner Arrested in Russia as World Cup Kicks Off

He held a poster that read: "Putin fails to act against Chechnya torture of gay people."

By Polina Ivanova and Andrew Osborn

MOSCOW, June 14 (Reuters) — Russian police briefly detained veteran British campaigner Peter Tatchell in Moscow on Thursday after he attempted to hold a one-man protest near the Kremlin in support of gay rights on the first day of the World Cup.

At the opening ceremony on Thursday, President Vladimir Putin spoke of showing the world a hospitable Russia and stressed sport's ability to build bridges and overcome differences.

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Tatchell's protest, held three hours before the ceremony, involved the activist unfurling a small banner near the Kremlin's walls calling attention to what his foundation described as Russia's mistreatment of LGBT+ people.

"President Putin has failed to condemn and act against the homophobic witch-hunts in Chechnya, which have seen scores of LGBT+ people arrested and tortured, with some even being killed," Tatchell said in a statement. He said he had been detained in Russia twice before.

Two men from Chechnya, a deeply conservative Muslim region of Russia, told Reuters last year they had been detained by police and subjected to torture because they were gay.

A Russian newspaper said several detainees had been killed. Chechen authorities said all such allegations were false.

Russian police quickly shut the protest down, with one officer telling Tatchell to stop what he was doing.

Read More:  6 Things You Shouldn't Forget as Russia Hosts the 2018 World Cup

"During the World Cup it is forbidden to hold any action like this against Putin, against all these things," the policeman said. Tatchell told the policeman he wanted to meet Putin to discuss gay rights in Russia.

The activist said he spent an hour and 40 minutes in police custody before being released.

"Senior officers were stern but the apprehending officer very helpful, friendly, and polite," the campaigner said, adding he was receiving support from the British embassy.

Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson later wrote on Twitter: "Pleased to hear @PeterTatchell is well, and my thanks to our consular staff in Moscow at @ukinrussia for providing speedy support to him."

 

Pleased to hear @PeterTatchell is well, and my thanks to our consular staff in Moscow at @ukinrussia for providing speedy support to him

 
 

Tatchell said he was required to appear in court on June 26, accused of breaking a federal law on the holding of public meetings and demonstrations, as well as a presidential decree that prohibits protests during the World Cup.

Piara Powar, executive director of European anti-discrimination network FARE, opened a temporary diversity centre in Moscow on Thursday to support soccer fans worried about any racism or homophobia.

Tunde Aderibigbe, head of protocol for Nigeria's football federation, said he believed the Russian government had done its best to deal with the issue of racism.

"We have been meeting a lot of (fans) and they are very cheerful. There hasn't been any cause to think there is going to be something like that," he said.

(Additional reporting by Elizabeth Piper Writing by Andrew Osborn Editing by Alison Williams and Andrew Heavens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, which covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit news.trust.org to see more stories.)

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CITIZENSHIP

Melania Trump, Laura Bush Condemn US Policy of Separating Migrant Kids From Parents

“This zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart.”

Between April 19 and May 31, nearly 2,000 migrant children were separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), according to the Associated Press.

They were subsequently sent to foster homes or detention centers.

The practice is part of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy for migrants who cross the border seeking asylum, and the United Nations has called it a human rights violation.

Now First Lady Melania Trump and former First Lady Laura Bush have joined the growing chorus of people calling for the practice to end.

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"Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform," the first lady’s communications director, Stephanie Grisham, told CNN on Sunday. "She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart."

 

Laura Bush, who was the first lady from 2001 to 2009, echoed Melania Trump’s sentiments in a strongly worded op-ed in the Washington Post on Sunday.

"I live in a border state,” Bush wrote. “I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart.”

Read More: Texas Detention Center for Migrant Children Compared to 'Prison'

Both women have largely refrained from weighing in on national politics since President Donald Trump took office, and their recent reactions reflect how deeply unpopular the “zero tolerance” policy has become, CNN reports.

Images of children being detained in cages, stories of parents being deported as their children remain in custody, and widespread instances of abuse have seemingly aroused a moral panic around the country.

 

KAN1ibSU_normal.jpg

Something I just told @chrislhayes: this place is a licensed child care facility with trained staff. There are 26 operated by the same nonprofit, @SouthwestKey.

Its president told me that potential new tent cities that will be on federal property *don’t* have to be licensed.

 

Starting to get some handout photos from our tour with @HHSGov.

Here’s the Trump mural I mentioned to @chrislhayes inside the shelter for incarcerated child migrants.

Also their beds and the towels they shower with. pic.twitter.com/EPEQ1VGAAF

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
 
 

Melania Trump limited herself to a short statement on the matter, but Bush compared the detention of children to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

She also said that the kindness of her mother-in-law, Barbara Bush, toward marginalized children should be an example for the country going forward.

Read More: Why Jeff Sessions' Ruling on Domestic Violence and Asylum Matters

“In 2018, can we not as a nation find a kinder, more compassionate and more moral answer to this current crisis?” she wrote. “I, for one, believe we can.”

The political situation surrounding the separation and detention of migrant children has reached an impasse in recent months, with laws intended to stop the policy stalling in Congress, but the new outspokenness of prominent Republicans could pave the way for a bipartisan solution, according to The New York Times.

Hillary Clinton, another former first lady and former Secretary of State, has consistently spoken out against the practice, and she was recently joined by her husband, former President Bill Clinton.  

In response to the mounting outrage, Kirstjen Nielsen, the Secretary of the DHS, has denied that the agency has a policy of separating children from their parents.

 

 

This misreporting by Members, press & advocacy groups must stop. It is irresponsible and unproductive. As I have said many times before, if you are seeking asylum for your family, there is no reason to break the law and illegally cross between ports of entry.

 
 

 

Read More: UN Accuses US of Human Rights Violations for Separating Migrant Families

President Trump, meanwhile, has pinned the blame for the policy on Democrats, claiming the policy he enacted can be ended if Democrats accept a series of harsh restrictions on immigration policy more broadly. Democrats, meanwhile, have repeatedly tried to pass specific legislation aimed at ending the policy.  

"Democrats can fix their forced family breakup at the Border by working with Republicans on new legislation, for a change!" he tweeted on Saturday."This is why we need more Republicans elected in November. Democrats are good at only three things, High, High Crime and Obstruction. Sad!"

But Bush blunty summed up what many Americans think in her op-ed:

"Our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso," she wrote.

Global Citizen campaigns to help migrants and refugees and you can take action on this issue here.

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13 DE JUNIO DE 2018

 

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1
 
FINANZAS E INNOVACIÓN

Por la crisis, en Venezuela recurren al Bitcoin para cubrir las necesidades básicas

Los precios en el país pueden elevarse a 14,000% este año.

Por Joanna Prisco.
Traducción: Erica Sánchez.

 

La criptomoneda puede ser una gran inversión en los mercados financieros de América del Norte, pero para los venezolanos con problemas de liquidez se ha convertido en un salvavidas para obtener las necesidades diarias básicas.

 

Cuando el gobierno socialista del presidente Nicolás Maduro anunció este mes que pospondría una revisión de la moneda para eliminar tres ceros del bolívar devaluado, el Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI) estimó que los precios al consumidor en la región podrían subir casi 14,000% este año, anunciando una catástrofe, s egún informó Quartz .

 

Mientras tanto, los ciudadanos ya han puesto manos en el asunto, y en sus dispositivos electrónicos...

 

En los últimos años, cuando los ciudadanos se sentían desalentados de llevar grandes cantidades de efectivo debido a los altos índices de delincuencia, el país vio un aumento en las transacciones de tarjetas de crédito, según informó el Washington Post .

 

Ahora, debido a que los nuevos billetes no se han impreso lo suficientemente rápido para mantenerse al día con los aumentos de precios en Venezuela, esto ha llevado a un mayor uso de aplicaciones telefónicas para realizar las transacciones, publicó Reuters .

 

Como resultado, el Bitcoin en denominaciones de bolívares está en su punto más alto de todos los tiempos, tanto así que ahora el gobierno de Maduro está considerando reemplazar el bolívar con su propia criptomoneda respaldada por petróleo.

 

Pero ese solo acto solo sería una medida provisional.

 

Esta será la segunda reconversión monetaria emprendida por el país en 10 años. El líder socialista Hugo Chávez ejecutó un cambio similar en 2008. Como tal, los críticos han argumentado que para lograr un cambio verdadero, se deben hacer reformas profundas a los controles monetarios actuales y se debe frenar la historia de excesiva creación de dinero en el país.

 

Mientras tanto, la inestabilidad financiera no ha demostrado ser un incentivo suficiente para que la administración reciba apoyo externo.

 

A pesar del creciente hambre en todo el país que ha llevado a una crisis de salud infantil , Maduro se ha negado a aceptar ayuda humanitaria de países vecinos , ONG y organizaciones benéficas, alegando que es parte de una conspiración para derrocar a su gobierno, como se citó en un informe publicado por el Miami Herald.

 

Según ese informe, el venezolano promedio perdió más de 11 kilogramos (o alrededor de 20 libras) de peso, de acuerdo a los resultados de la encuesta publicados en febrero.

 

Global Citizen realiza campañas para alcanzar los Objetivos Globales para el Desarrollo Sostenible, incluido el objetivo número dos: hambre cero. Puedes unirte a nosotros y tomar medidas aquí .

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9
EDUCATION

6 reasons children need more non-fiction books in their lives

12 June 2018 5:01PM UTC | By: ROOM TO READ

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Most of what we read every day is non-fiction. Informational texts become increasingly important as children progress through school, and yet children in early grades have very few options for appropriate non-fiction books. When Room to Read – a non-profit organisation working to improve literacy and gender equality in education – surveyed the countries they work in throughout Asia and Africa, less than 20 percent of available titles were children’s non-fiction books. The options for students in grades one through three were even less at just 7 percent!

To address this, Room to Read partnered with RTI, Tanzania’s Ministry of Education, and Zanzibar’s Ministry of Education and Vocational Training to create 32 non-fiction children’s books that will be distributed in public primary schools in the Mtwara region of mainland Tanzania and in the Zanzibar islands

So, why it is important to address the ‘access gap’ to non-fiction books?

The Global Reading Network notes reading informational, child-friendly books:

1. Prepares students for later grades

Shampande-pupils-participate-during-a-le
The bulk of books read in the higher grades are informational texts that focus on a particular subject. The earlier students are introduced to this writing style and tone, the easier they’ll transition to higher grades.

2. Expands a child’s vocabulary

Swan-pupils-reading-during-a-lesson.jpg

Vocabulary knowledge is key to comprehending text and academic success. Non-fiction children’s literature naturally integrates complicated vocabulary words in ways that make it easy for students to learn new words.

3. Aids second language learners

Manyinga-primary-teacher-with-pupil-smil

With realistic pictures and locally contextualised content, students learning to read in a second language can connect familiar images with words from the new language.

4. Offers solutions to real-world problems

Swan-primary-pupils-playing-outside-libr

Many students in Tanzania and other countries Room to Read work in struggle daily with hunger, child labour, or staying in school. Non-fiction books provide children with information, new perspectives, and life skills that can be used to address challenges in their lives.

5. Teaches children more about the world they live in

Choma-Primary-pupil-happily-holding-book

For nearly two decades, Room to Read has published culturally-relevant books that specifically include characters, settings, and lifestyle details children see regularly. But non-fiction books allow children to further expand their horizons beyond the familiar.  

6. Motivates reluctant readers

2-Manyinga-Primary-pupil-smiling-a.jpg

Not all children find their way to reading through fiction. Children’s non-fiction books can motivate reluctant readers by capitalising on their curiosity and interest in the world around them.  

What was your favourite non-fiction book growing up? Let us know in the comments below!

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10
TECHNOLOGY

Why Rwandan women are missing out on the tech boom

15 June 2018 3:07PM UTC | By: WOMEN'S ADVANCEMENT DEEPLY

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This story was originally reported by Rodrigue Rwirahira for Women’s Advancement Deeply.

In recent years, Rwanda has been going through a digital revolution. The tech industry has become one of the largest contributors to GDP growth, at 3 percent, and, the government claims, the burgeoning sector is attracting more and more investment from foreign countries.

But women are largely missing out on this tech boom, and those who do work in the industry say companies and the government need to do more to help bolster their ranks.

1167182_387486494684152_7450367_o.jpg

image via Girls in ICT Rwanda

The gender gap starts in high school and college, where the number of young women studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is dwarfed by the number of young men. The Educational Statistical Yearbook shows that only 34 percent of women opt to study sciences in university, compared to 66 percent of men. The number of women taking engineering is even smaller at 23 percent versus 77 percent of men.

This does not mean that Rwanda’s young women lack the drive to get into the tech sector: In vocational training, the number of women learning basic skills in information and communication technology (ICT) outpaces men at 51 percent compared to 49 percent.

But once women leave university or training and go into the tech workforce, they come up against prejudices and obstacles their male counterparts never have to face.

10157329_478187705614030_876777721905553

image via Girls in ICT Rwanda

When Sandrine Sangwa, 24, graduated with an I.T. degree from the Akilah Institute in Kigali in 2017, she never thought of looking for any other job because she was determined to build her own software design company.

She took an internship at K-LAB, an incubator that helps software designers develop and sell their ideas, and started working on creating her own apps. She came up with Sangwapp, which supports people with visual impairment by translating signs and giving them an audio description of things they can’t see. But when she tried to take the app to market she says she couldn’t get past the prejudices held by would-be buyers and potential clients.

“We never thought it would be easy, but we are being regarded in contempt,” she says of herself and fellow women in tech. Some companies prefer to buy inexpensive software from abroad instead of buying products made locally and more made by women, she says. “Nobody is willing to help us seize these opportunities.”

1096998_387158838050251_340911420_o-1024

image via Girls in ICT Rwanda

In general, Sangwa says, clients tend to assume that men are better at coding, making it impossible for women software designers to compete. “We are yet to get to the level of wooing our potential clients.

“We have the power and the zeal to get there, but the environment is still turning us down.”

Fighting the Mindset

Vanessa Keza, head of the local nongovernmental organization GIRLS IN ICT, says the lack of market availability and the unfair competition stems from assumptions many grow up with about gender. “There is still an underrepresentation of women in ICT [because] we see office and family stereotypes that say ICT is meant for boys.”

The mission of GIRLS IN ICT, which comprises around 30 young professional women in the I.T. industry, is to raise awareness of the benefits of a career in digital tech among high school girls.

1097157_387159598050175_1982970995_o-102

image via Girls in ICT Rwanda

“Part of our assignment is to fight the mindset and create a platform where women can share ideas around ICT projects,” Keza says. “And so far, it is paying off.”

GIRLS IN ICT has partnered with Smart Africa – a private initiative working with governments to improve access to technology – to raise the profile of its members and help them identify solutions to some of the societal issues facing Rwanda, including food security, transport infrastructure and disaster and land management.

GIRLS IN ICT also organizes competitions, such as the annual Ms. Geek contest, to motivate school-aged girls to come up with innovative tech or business ideas, as well providing a regular one-week bootcamp to teach girls in remote areas basic programming, internet and computer skills.

1146924_391398724292929_466542367_o-975x

image via Girls in ICT Rwanda

Keza says the organization has seen girls build the confidence to be more proactive in the tech industry. She says a number of girls who have gone through the training programs have gotten tech jobs in banks, broadband management companies and telecommunications firms.

The Need for a Proactive Private Sector

Claudette Irere, director of ICT at Rwanda’s Ministry of Information Technology and Communication, says the government is aware of the problem, and has plans to tackle it. She says the ministry has several projects in the pipeline with the Ministry of Gender and Family Affairs to raise the number of women in the sector, and will release a strategy to address the gender gap by the end of this financial year.

1005229_388061137960021_890861231_n.jpg

image via Girls in ICT Rwanda

The country’s tech sector will only benefit from boosting the numbers of women in its ranks, Irere says. “Rwanda would do much better if it could build a good pool of developers and programmers and take on outsourced jobs.”

Sangwa, the software designer, feels the government is doing a good job at supporting women in ICT. But, she says, unless private companies are more proactive about hiring women, she and her female peers will never be given an equal chance to take part in Rwanda’s digital revolution.

“The government has given men and women equal rights on a number of things,” she says. “Employers in the private sector need to apply the same mentality so that women can also excel in ICT.”

ONE welcomes the contributions of guest bloggers but does not necessarily endorse the views, programs, or organisations highlighted.

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